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US allows India, 7 nations to continue buying Iranian oil

02 November 2018
US allows India, 7 nations to continue buying Iranian oil

While futures in NY edged higher on Friday on signs of a possible trade deal between the US and China, they're still on course for a 5.7 percent weekly loss.

Global markets, including oil, were lifted earlier on Friday by hopes that the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies could be resolved soon. -China trade tensions stoked concerns over economic growth.

After President Donald Trump chose to pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multinational deal under which Iran agreed to suspend its nuclear program, his administration announced that it would reinstate economic sanctions against Iran, including those aimed at its oil exports.

U.S. Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Israel have long sought for Washington to work to curtail non-Arab and predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran's influence in the Middle East, including in war-torn Syria.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that South Korea and Japan had received waivers along with India, which relies heavily on Iranian supplies.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $63.36 a barrel.

Futures in NY fell as much as 0.9 percent, after falling 1.3 percent on Wednesday. Oil futures were at $73.04 a barrel at 7:12 London on Friday. The contract is down 5.6 percent this week for a fourth consecutive week.

A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the us government about waivers were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.

Hours before he spoke, Iranian President Hassan Rohani warned Iranians they could face more economic hardship in the months ahead as the USA imposes a new round of sanctions.

Through April, South Korea had imported an average of 300,000 bpd of Iranian oil, but in the months since Trump's decision, it tapered those purchases in anticipation of the sanctions. During the previous round of sanctions, nations were expected to cut imports by about 20 percent during each 180-day review period to get another exemption.

About half of China's crude oil and condensate imports from Iran in October, around 400,000 bpd, were bound for a storage hub in Dalian in northeastern China, according to Platts sources and shipping data. This in turn could keep the pressure on the energy complex.

WorleyParsons Ltd., the Australian engineering firm that designs massive energy projects, is seeing customers returning to sea - albeit at a more subdued pace.

There have been indications that India may not totally stop import of crude oil from Iran.